Why it's dangerous to have an Idea


“I had an idea ...” That’s how it starts. A single voice. A moment in time. Often, very soft ---- like a whispered spring breeze. And gone just as easily. But in that moment rests the tipping point of history. It is the origin of change.

The idea could be anything:
     * why not have a black President?
     * why not help every sick person get well?
     * why not look into police violence?
     * why not have Apple pay its fair share of taxes?
     * shouldn't a woman's place be in the home?
     * what if there IS a god?
     * what if she died in 1969?

You see, it doesn't matter whether it's liberal, conservative, reactionary, economic, political, religious ... whatever ... a clear, provocative idea is the origin of change.

But sharing that idea can be the end of your career, or your life, depending on where you live, and what the idea is. You see, having an idea is one of the most dangerous things we do as humans.

Have you noticed that?
Did you ever wonder why?

 * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Change became the hot topic in American culture in 2008. As a nation - and as individuals - we got a green light to open the flood gates of change. You can thank Barack Obama for that.  Sadly, things went sour for him, and for the nation, in a predictable and classic push-back scenario, as Congress and the Supreme Court and every lobbyist worth a doughnut dug in their heels in a full court press focused on stone walling. Even president’s take it on the chin when they try to change things. And now, Donald Trump has opened the flood gates for an emotionally violent backlash, loudly championing the need to take things back to the way they were, under the slogan "Make America Great Again."

Kiss safety goodbye

Many people will dislike you when you’re being creative, because you’re the source of chaos in their lives --- and maybe even an inferiority complex to boot. As a result,
*  they will attack and belittle you.
*  They will marginalize and ignore you,
*  minimize and dismiss you.
*  They will brand you as a loose cannon, and
*  quarantine you on the periphery as dangerous to corporate or family health.
*  They’ll accuse you of just looking for attention, and
*  at the extreme they may take away your reputation, your job or your life.

Son of a bitch! This is a secular article, but imagine, if you will, how flabbergasted Jesus must have felt. He shared a message that was a radical departure from the contemporary theology of rules, vendetta and judgment. Instead he offered the following good news:

- God doesn’t belong to any one tribe, city or nation.  
- God loves you and wants you to make it.  
- All you have to do is say thanks.
- That’s it. Welcome home.

They executed him – for instigating chaos and corrupting the morals of the community. You’ll notice that the Greeks condemned Socrates for the exact same reason. Hmmm. There seems to be a universal truth in operation here: the world tends to devour change agents. 

So why in the world would anyonewant to be creative?

Because there simply isn’t a better feeling in the world than the incredible buzz that comes from having a new idea. It is as close to divinity as it’s possible for a human to get. And we can do it everyday. It is, quite simply, the world’s greatest drug.

In addition, having an idea gets us out of the traffic jam of life. We mill around point A wondering what to do until (bam!) it hits us. “I know! Let’s invent someplace to go. Let’s call in point B.” Voila!

A third reason to be creative involves wealth and glory. I’d like both, but I’d settle for either one. Creativity opens the door.

On top of all that - creativity keeps the attic lit. It stimulates the mind, and invites the soul and the heart to join in. I’m having one of those magic moments as I sit here writing this, in a place you’ll never visit, at a time that will never return.  But still I wear a little smile because I know that you are now sharing that moment in your own frame of time and place and I have achieved some level of immortality because you may have just picked this out of a dust bin in another century, on another planet. (I’d like to think they took this book with them. You know, the colonists.)  Most likely, you are digesting it (I'm not even sure ready will be the appropriate word) via some new communication device I never heard of.

And here's where the rubber meets the road.

The leader, firm or nation that understands, encourages and safeguards those motivations will prosper. The one that is the enemy of creativity --- whether that travels under the banner of common sense, tradition, law and order, or returning to old fashioned values or creating safe places guarded by trigger warnings --- well, that leader, firm or nation is headed for the ash can of history.


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Under the cover shot for THE QUEST for TRUTH & GLORY